Computers and Software

The software group has put a major effort into the organization and improvements of the Waimea Network. Two high-speed ethernet switches and hubs were installed to provide rapid access to a central data server for data reduction available for resident astronomers and visitors. Network cabling was upgraded to category 5 twisted pairs cables in the computer room and the staff astronomers offices to support a 100 Mbits/sec data rate. An ultra sparc 2 with 512 Mbytes of memory and a battery of high performance, high capacity disks are presently under installation. To facilitate the processing of large format CCD mosaic data, high resolution display (1600x1200) Xterminals were acquired and received to replace the present sparc 5 workstations used by the staff astronomers.

The summit network bandwidth is being upgraded to support a 100 Mbits/sec rate among all the data acquisition and instrument control computers (HPs and SUNs). This was deemed necessary to facilitate the data handling of present and near future large CCD mosaics.

Integration of the UH8K CCD Mosaic was done using an upgraded Sparc 20 with 512 Mbytes of memory and 2 9 Gbyte disks. A preliminary scheme for data archiving was also installed and tested. An additional Ultra Sparc 2 with 2 processors, 512 Mbytes of memory and a 36 Gbyte RAID disk has been purchased to provide facilities for local processing of the data acquired.

Other developments include the migration of the CFHT data logger to an HPIB server connected directly to the net. Data logger data are now recorded at 10 minute and 30 second intervals with the 30 second data stored in a scaled integer format.

The data archive optical disk failed this semester and has been replaced by Exabyte tape. We plan to remain with Exabyte tape until new high density CD ROM technology is available, hopefully sometime in the new year.

Other major efforts such as AOB and GenIII v 4 development are touched on under individual projects.

Personal Computers:

Although PCs are not required for operating the observatory, they have become a part of every employee's set of tools here at CFHT. With over 40 PCs connected to the Waimea and Observatory local-area networks at last count, keeping them functioning has been time consuming. Hardware failures, persistent software problems and software driven upgrades have been the major reasons why support is required. Supporting the PCs consumes one technician at least half-time.
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